Student Guitar

First Attempt at an Electric Guitar

I've wanted to build an electric guitar for a long time and this summer I took the initiative to do so.


My uncle does a lot of wood work and sent me a blank of swamp ash. I took my initial guitar design, redesigned it so the scoop was on the right side, then set about building the body.


I imported my drawing into SolidWorks and made an outline which I had printed from Staples. I wanted part of the body raised so I started by outlining the guitar and milling everything except that section down.


I used some Power Grip hand tools and a Denker carving shave tool to get the curvature right on the raised portion.


From there I made another outline and started cutting the body out. I got the band saw blade stuck in the wood and decided to make some cuts perpendicular to the outline so that once the blade passed a certain point it would just break away. I used a scroll saw to get the tighter sections.


I used some double sided tape to attach sand paper to a circular saw bit to get at the parts the belt sander couldn't, as well as hand files. Then I used the Power Grips and Denker again to shape the cutaways.


There were a couple spots that either chipped or I had taken too much material from so I got a piece of left-over swamp ash, put in on the belt sander, collected the saw dust, and added some wood glue to make a putty and filled in where needed.


The neck was purchased from Stewart MacDonald (


I am currently sanding the entire body down with 80, 150, 320, and 600 grit sand paper.